GE’s Rhythm Software Platform Now Extended to Remote Visual Inspection

Billerica, MA – August 8, 2007.

With the introduction of Rhythm Visual, remote visual inspection (RVI) can now enjoy the significant benefits of GE Inspection Technologies’ field-proven Rhythm software in terms of more effective, flexible and robust management of inspection data. This can result in easier reporting, with time savings of up to 70%, standardised reporting for ease of comparison, more effective data storage to facilitate data base searches and simplification of information sharing. Moreover, images within standardised reports can contain measurement data to allow their use in condition-based maintenance programs, so that RVI can be used as a quantitative as well as a qualitative inspection technique.

The powerful yet user-friendly Rhythm software was originally developed for use with radiographic techniques. Its extension to RVI is applicable to all industrial sectors where RVI is used and Rhythm Visual is compatible with various types of imaging equipment, including video borescopes, pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras and other digital cameras. In operation, inspection data is entered into a set menu generated by the software to accompany the image generated by the RVI equipment. Typically, entered data will describe what is in the image, where the image was taken, date and time, and other key inspection data. Image descriptions and additional notes can be entered into a laptop running Rhythm Visual software when saving the image, either at the time of inspection or at the end of an inspection shift. It is also possible to import a CAD drawing or original equipment image to assist the inspection and to help with any subsequent inspection decisions. Similarly, stereo, shadow and comparison measurements taken on the video borescope can also be incorporated. Finally, an on-site standardised inspection report is generated and this can be archived, shared with remote expert operations or quality control locations or sent for expert analysis, with no limit on the size of data file transferred.

All data used with Rhythm Visual is saved and transferred in the DICONDE format, an adaptation of the DICOM standard (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) for non-destructive evaluation DICONDE which is now an ASTM standard, uses many of the features which have been proven in the medical sector and incorporates many new features which are purely NDE-focused. Rhythm’s compliance with this data communication protocol ensures that users are not constricted by current proprietary formats. It can also avoid legacy data conversions when up-grading inspection systems and means that data will never become obsolete. Moreover, the software architecture is scaleable and the system is modular so that it can be expanded to meet future requirements.

GE Inspection Technologies is uniquely positioned to advance remote visual inspection solutions at a rapid rate. The addition of Rhythm Visual to GE Inspection’s proven hardware solutions such as the the Everest XLG3 VideProbeâ system and industrial Pan-Tilt-Zoom(PTZ) cameras makes a winning combination. The total hardware/software solution can help improve the life and reliability of in-service assets while improving inspection productivity.

The Rhythm software suite is being developed on an on-going basis.  The software suite consists of Rhythm Acquire, Rhythm Reporting, Rhythm Review, and Rhythm Archive. The Rhythm suite for radiography is already well-proven in the field. The same philosophy is being extended to other modalities in addition to RVI, so that eventually, it will be possible to compare inspection results from RVI, X-ray, ultrasonic, and eddy current techniques at the same work station, in a process of data fusion.

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